The Healing Power of Art

PaintFest

 
Mike Toomey talks about the impact art had in his life at PaintFest – a nationwide tour that engages local cancer communities in the healing power of art. In Massachusetts, the PaintFest America event was held in partnership with the Lahey Health Cancer Institute at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center.
 

Burlington, MA (August 22, 2016) – By his own admission, Mike Toomey’s experience with cancer wasn’t all that unique or unusual. He was diagnosed and had the tumor in his kidney treated, but for this local artist, painting is what gave Toomey the outlet he needed to manage his diagnosis.                        

The Londonderry, New Hampshire resident was one of a dozen cancer survivors from across the Lahey Health System to participate in PaintFest America.

This nationwide tour engages local cancer communities in the healing power of art. The Foundation for Hospital Art hosts PaintFest America, a 50-day event (July 5th—August 23rd, 2016) in order to reach the families, patients, and staff of cancer facilities in each state through artwork. In Massachusetts, the PaintFest America event was held in partnership with the Lahey Health Cancer Institute at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center.

“It’s an honor to be selected as the only site in Massachusetts that’s participating in PaintFest this year,” said Linda Weller-Ferris, PhD, vice president of the Lahey Health Cancer Institute. “These murals will be displayed in our treatment facilities to bring comfort and joy to patients who are undergoing treatment.”

Speaking to the crowd at the event, Toomey, instead of focusing on his cancer journey, spoke on an even more personal topic – art.

“For me, it wasn’t, ‘why me?’” Toomey said of his diagnosis. “I knew why I had cancer. I smoked. But through art you can find out what people care about – their hopes, their dreams, what’s important to them.”

Throughout the morning, Lahey Health cancer patients, survivors, staff and visitors painted six unique murals that will soon brighten the halls of the cancer centers across the Lahey Health System.

About Lahey Health 

Lahey Health is what's next in health care, providing a full continuum of integrated health services close to where you live or work. It is comprised of nationally recognized, award-winning hospitals—including an academic hospital and medical center, and community hospitals—primary care providers, specialist physicians, behavioral health services, post-acute programs such as home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, and senior care resources located throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. 

Lahey Health offers nearly 1,400 locally based physicians providing clinical excellence and an exceptional patient experience in adult and pediatric primary care and every medical specialty, including kidney and liver transplantation; cancer, cardiovascular and orthopedic medical and surgical care; local emergency and trauma care; urological surgery; chronic disease prevention and health management; and pediatric emergency, newborn and inpatient care provided in collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital physicians. 

Lahey Health includes Lahey Hospital & Medical Center—a teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine—and Lahey Clinic physician group with practices in Burlington, Peabody and other locations throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire; Beverly Hospital; Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass.; Winchester Hospital; Lahey Health Senior Care and Lahey Health Behavioral Services as well as more than 30 primary care physician practices and multiple outpatient and satellite specialty care facilities. 

Together, we are making innovative, integrated healthcare more personal and more accessible. For more information, visit LaheyHealth.org and its member websites Lahey Hospital & Medical CenterBeverly Hospital, and Lahey Health Behavioral Services

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CONTACT:
Daniel Marra
Lahey Health Media Relations
781-744-9796
Daniel.J.Marra@Lahey.org